Press release

BIS appoints Professor Dafforn as Chief Scientific Adviser

Professor Timothy Richard Dafforn has been appointed BIS’s Chief Scientific Adviser.


Professor Timothy Richard Dafforn has been appointed Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), it has been announced today (26 May 2015).

Professor Dafforn is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence for Synthetic Biology at BIS and brings extensive valuable experience to his new role, not least through his work as the Director of Knowledge Transfer, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Dafforn will ensure that the department’s policies and operations, and its contribution to wider government issues are informed by fit-for-purpose science, technology and engineering advice.

BIS Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly said:

Professor Dafforn’s appointment as Chief Scientific Adviser brings a depth of knowledge and experience formed in both academia and as the BIS Entrepreneur in Residence. I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.

I would also like to thank Professor Perkins for all of his work over the past 3 years - in particular his highly successful Review of Engineering Skills.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Mark Walport said:

I am pleased to welcome Professor Dafforn to the cross-government network of Chief Scientific Advisers. I look forward to working with him to ensure that the UK continues to lead the way in the use of science and engineering evidence by government.

Notes to editors:

  1. Professor Dafforn takes up his post on 1 June 2015. He succeeds Professor John Perkins CBE.
  2. The Chief Scientific Adviser’s role is to ensure that the department’s policies and operations, and its contributions to wider government issues, are underpinned by the best science and engineering advice available.
  3. This post is part-time and Professor Dafforn will be working 3 days per week. This enables the post-holder to continue working independently in their outside career to encourage sharing of the latest thinking and learning in science and engineering, subject to the usual conflict of interest criteria.
  4. Prior to this appointment Professor Dafforn was Entrepreneur in Residence at BIS with a remit to champion activities in Synthetic Biology in the department. His hugely successful career includes more than 100 publications and a lifetime research grant capture of £10 million. He has worked to develop new national research policies as part of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) New ways of working strategy panel and the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council. He is head of policy, a trustee and member of the executive at the Biochemical Society.
  5. The Chief Scientific Adviser reports directly to the People, Strategy and Higher Education, Director General.
Published 26 May 2015